Using FPS Methods and Tools

The Forest Projection and Planning System (FPS) is a fully integrated forest management package for ownerships of any size.  It is designed for stand-based forest inventories using a relational database structure.  The default is a Microsoft Access relational database.  It uses direct links to GIS-based spatial inventories which use stand-based polygons to characterize the forest.

The development of FPS has evolved with the expanding capacity of computer support services since the early 1970s.  Equally significant over the same time period has been the transition in silvicultural constraints on forest management.  The evolution into mixed-age, mixed-species, mixed-size class stand structures has occurred due to social, environmental and wildlife concerns.  Forest management constraints have expanded exponentially, especially with regard to spatial proximity among alternative resources, such as watershed, wildlife and recreation.

While all of this has evolved, traditional forestry research has declined in both funding and focus.  This has been well documented in the National Science Council 2002 Report, “National Capacity in Forestry Research” and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities 2017 Report, “Final Report – Blue Ribbon Commission on Forest and Forest Products Research & Development in the 21st Century”.



The Forest Biometrics Research Institute (FBRI) mission and the Forest Projection and Planning System (FPS) software and tools have been designed, initiated and applied since 2002 to fill this gap identified by these national reports.  FBRI and FPS are solely focused on the quantitative aspects of forest management practices and tools.

The practice of forestry has evolved beyond a solid foundation in forestry research.  Almost all traditional forestry research has been focused on even-aged silviculture.  These pages provide snippets of media and documents identifying significant changes and enhancements in forestry methods and tools which have been developed by FBRI and used in FPS.  These methods and tools may not be found anywhere else due to the reasons stated in the previously referenced reports.  FBRI is attempting to change this through enhanced partnership with University education and research programs where a mutual interest exists.  Cooperation with the University of Idaho, College of Forest Resources, is a first example.

Evaluating Software Packages – Forestry software tools for inventory, growth and planning have separated into those which have evolved from the 1970s and those which have not.  A significant number of forestry packages have not had their underlying methods reviewed and updated to adequately handle mixed-species, mixed-age class stand structures.  These stand structures are noted for their structural and spatial variability.  Traditional, built-in even-aged assumptions may not apply or may result in inappropriate decision-making.  Site curves and taper models are components which have evolved significantly.  Before placing high reliance on any combination of cruise package, growth model and planning software, a forest manager would be well advised to consider the factors presented in this download.  Comparison of Software Suites